WAIPA Regional Meeting in Côte d’Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire Prime Minister and WAIPA President



Abidjan, 20 June 2016 – A regional meeting for Investment Promotion Agencies took place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The meeting dedicated to “Promotion and Role of FDI in the Emerging Economies in Sub Saharan Africa” was hosted by the CEPICI (Centre de Promotion des Investissements en Côte d’Ivoire) as the Sub-Saharan Africa Representative for WAIPA in cooperation with the World Association of Investment    Promotion        Agencies           (WAIPA). Its operational headquarters are in Istanbul and WAIPA has over 130 members from 170 countries across the globe with a mission to become the global reference point for FDI.

More than 200 participants came together to reflect on the role that FDI can play to reinforce structural, economic and regional transformation. The meeting’s first topic was the economic outlook of Sub-Saharan African countries, their issues and challenges. The economic situation of the African continent has clearly improved, with growth rates ranging from 4.7% in 2013 to 5.2% in 2014, according to the World Bank 2014 Africa’s Pulse report.

Despite the increase in FDI and the rise in raw material prices and the improvement of governance and macroeconomic management, Sub-Saharan Africa continues to face real challenges in terms of access to the local, regional and global markets. More investment leading to more sustainable growth is therefore of the utmost importance. This was recognized by WAIPA CEO Bostjan Skalar: “We know that it is all about decreasing poverty, creating decent jobs, and industrialization that is inclusive.”

The President of WAIPA, Arda Ermut, stressed the positive dynamics in Sub Sahara Africa: “The flow of FDIs towards Africa reached $ 54 billion just a year or so ago, with the trend going upwards this year. Investors are forced to pay attention to this emerging region because those that have been early adopters in putting their bets with Africa have reaped many rewards.”

IPA Representatives from Sub-Saharan countries shared investment promotion strategies explicitly tailored to and tested in their economies. IPAs from Nigeria, Angola, Guinée and Mali presented their organization, mission, success stories and challenges. Emmanuel Esmel Essis, Côte d’Ivoire’s IPA’s CEO, as the Representative of Sub-Saharan Africa for WAIPA stated that “WAIPA is the platform for IPA’s of the Sub-Saharan region to develop collaborative solutions for the development of promotional tools to attract FDI in this part of the world”.

Furthermore, WAIPA is the linchpin between IPA’s, international organizations such as UNCTAD, UNIDO and ILO and the private sector. As such it advocates its members’ interests and it can easily connect its members to each other, and to international organizations.

Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, met with WAIPA and ISPAT President Arda Ermut, to discuss crucial cooperation between governments and IPAs.

The event ended with an affirmation from Sub Saharan African regions and from WAIPA to put the region on the forefront of the investor map.